Dragons soar into Lakeland

The Green Dragons played the part of the uninvited guest at the Florida Southern Invitational on Sept. 14 in Lakeland, capturing the event with a combined score of 1,069 points. Lake Placid was the only team to break the 1,000 point barrier, as its boys teams scored 566 to finish first while the girls team placed second with 503 points. "It was a great meet," Lake Placid coach Tom Creel said. "The competition was so strong. I'm so proud of the great job the girls did today. We had so many best times and did our part to bring home the overall meet trophy." The only team from Highlands County at the meet, Lake Placid was competing against a handful of schools from Polk and Volusia counties. George Jenkins placed second overall, finishing with 983 points, followed by Lakeland in third with 584. Seabreeze was fourth with 577, Bartow was fifth with 342, Santa Fe Catholic placed sixth with 174, Ridge Community was seventh with 158, and Kathleen finished last with 87 points. The Dragons had most of their success in the individual events. On the boys side, Travis Peeples captured the school's lone first place finish in the 100-yard freestyle, winning with a time of 54.60. In the 100 Backstroke, three Lake Placid boys finished consecutively in second to fourth place. Andrew Brown, Jr. placed second with a time of 1:00.44, followed by Mason Million in third at 1:07.14, while Dalton Lambert was fourth in 1:11.83. Travis Russell had the other top three finish for the Green Dragon boys, coming in at 1:05.88 in the 100 Butterfly.
"We did really well today," Lambert said, who also serves as the boys captain. "Everyone swam their hardest, and we have a trophy to bring home for our efforts." Meanwhile, led by Rachel Shattler and Anne Weber-Callahan, the girls also produced a handful of top three finishes. Shattler had the highest finish of the day, placing second in the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:24.67. Weber-Callahan had two third place finishes, coming in at 1.09.18 in the 100 Backstroke and 2:29.82 in the 200 individual medley. Kasey Williams also finished fourth in the 100 Breaststroke at 1:26.04. Lake Placid had some of success in the relay events as well. Katie Dye, Kasey Williams, Courtney Sapp, and Shelby Allcorn paced the girls to the Dragons only first place win, as group captured the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:47.07. Claire LeBlanc and Robbye Teal teamed with Shattler and Weber-Callahan to finish third in the 200 medley with a time of 2:09.06. Eden Taylor and Emily Waldron also paired with Allcorn and Dye to capture fourth place in the 200 freestyle in 1:56.75. In the boys relay events, the quartet of Alex Miller, Joshua Zahn, Russell, and Lambert combined for a second place finish in the 200 freestyle at 1:42.30. Lambert also helped Clay Sapp, Brown, Jr., and Peeples to a second place finish in the 200 medley, where they were edged by George Jenkins. In the 400 freestyle, Peeples, Miller, Sapp, and Brown, Jr. combined their talents to finish third with a time of 3:45.17. After the meet, Creel spoke about his team's success against the much larger teams from Lakeland. "We swam against larger schools and we were able to test our training against some real fast swimmers," he said. "With an impressive number of personal best times and three trophies for our efforts, I'd say that it was a good day." bhoward@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5841